This article is part of our The Z Files series.
After putting the time into generating the site playoff rankings, I decided to battle test them in the NFBC Postseason Holdem contest. Before reviewing my strategy, I'd like to briefly discuss the rankings refresh posted Wednesday night after the NL Wild Card game.
The obvious change was removing the Yankees and Cardinals. Past that, I updated the rankings based on the new playoff odds. This entailed not only boosting the Dodgers and Red Sox, but reevaluating the odds in general. Specifically, I was taken aback by the difference between Fangraphs and Baseball Reference. I altered the weighted average between those two and the betting odds to favor the latter. Initially, my thought was betting odds are influenced by the bookmaker wanting to even the money on both sides, thus they may not reflect the true odds of winning. However, when the two analytical processes differed by so much, I figured Vegas knows a little something about this sort of thing.
Here was my approach when setting the NFBC lineup. It's very subjective, so your mileage may vary.
There are 16 lineup spots. All eight remaining playoff teams are represented, with no more than three per team. With the general philosophy of trying to win it all and not playing it safe (which goes against every fiber of my being), the clear pathway is to choose three players from the teams I expect to win their series, and one from each of the losing teams. Admittedly, part of this is